Xiaomi’s success in the Indian smartphone market needs little introduction, with the company enjoying the top spot for almost three years. However, mobiles are far from the only category where Mi is the market leader, as its IoT portfolio has also taken off in multiple categories.
This piece contains inputs from Raghu Reddy, Chief Business Officer, Xiaomi India
Xiaomi will host its annual Mi Smarter Living 2022 event on August 26, where we will see the launch of many new products and foray into new segments for the Indian market. Ahead of the announcement, Raghu Reddy, Chief Business Officer of Xiaomi India talked to TechRadar India about the company’s upcoming products, past successes and the state of the connected device ecosystem.
Xiaomi entered India with smartphones in 2014 in hopes of taking on the established competition with a competitively-priced offering. By 2017, it had already reached the pole position in the segment with a lean yet powerful portfolio.
It was around this time that it sensed a bigger opportunity in the market — one that would bring Xiaomi’s connected devices to the forefront to create an ecosystem beyond smartphones. That gamble paid off, as now Xiaomi has over 350 million IoT products in the market, while redefining many categories.
Xiaomi’s first non-smartphone product was the Mi Band in 2017, which went on to clock more than 7 million units in sales. In fact, it has been the best-selling fitness tracker in India since then.
In 2018, Xiaomi went big with the launch of smart TVs, in a time when about 80% of the market was dominated by regular, non-smart TVs. Today, Mi TVs and Redmi TVs can be found in more than 6 million homes, marking market leadership in yet another category since launch.
Around the same time, it also forayed into the smart connected security camera segment, which was quite nascent and underdeveloped back then. Raghu tells us that users found many innovative applications for its cameras ranging from farms to childcare. At its peak, it had a share of close to 50%, beating conventional solutions that need much more wiring and storage.
Xiaomi also aims to be a lifestyle brand, with offerings such as air purifiers, water purifiers, robot vacuum cleaners, etc. Interestingly, TWS earbuds and smartwatches — two categories that have exploded in the wake of the pandemic — haven’t seen much love from the brand recently.
The way forward
*Drumrolls*Smarter Living 2022 is finally here and we are thrilled! Innovation is brewing, excitement in the air is unmatched and the future is smart indeed ?#MiFans, want to take a guess at what’s in store? Stay tuned! #SmarterLiving2022 #FutureIsSmart pic.twitter.com/DPMXV2ifI8August 16, 2021
The star of Smarter Living will be the new crop of premium laptops under the Mi brand. While last year’s Mi NoteBook 14 series went on to be best-seller, Raghu admits that there was a lot of room for improvement. On their upcoming successors, not only will all the feedback be addressed, but it will offer one of the best screens on a laptop in this segment. The other areas where we will see upgrades will be the design, webcam and keyboard backlighting.
Raghu also exclusively confirmed that Xiaomi will launch its first Wi-Fi router at the event, as well as a new security camera. Specifications or features were not mentioned, but we’d expect both of them to be mid-range offerings.
With Mi TVs having changed the face of the smart TV category, Mi will focus on more premium televisions going forward, as the basics have already been covered. Audio products and wearable devices will also be an area of focus going forward.
He also talked about how Xiaomi is considering products such as dishwashers, tablets, budget smartwatches and other products, but did not confirm the launch of either.
At Smarter Living 2022, Xiaomi is expected to unveil the Mi Band 6, Mi NoteBooks, new high-end TVs, router, security camera and some other lifestyle products — highlighting a higher focus on home products this season.